Jump to content



  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by rsarwar

  1. 2 hours ago, malc-c said:

    Not a an ASCOM vs INDI debate at all.  Just the way I see it you install a windows application on a windows machine that runs a standard platform (ASCOM)  so you would expect that windows application to support the platform designed for that operating system.  Not have to purchase another computer such as a pi to run linux to run the platform and then remote into it from the windows PC .

    EQMOD as originally written is an ASCOM telescope driver.  So is selectable from other applications that need to control the mount, which is why the driver is listed in any other ASCOM compliant application.  Being an open source project others have ported it to other OS's and platforms.  Granted it's been a long time since I installed a flavour of linux so maybe things are more user friendly.  Back then adding a USB device required command line code which for someone totally new to the OS isn't ideal.  Windows, whilst in your opinion may not be the ideal OS on which to run software  for astronomical needs, and I respect that opinion, is more user friendly and plug and play.

    I may play about later and see if installing a VM ware machine running linux will work - probably run into networking issues , but hey ho ... could be fun trying :)

    good luck with the linux. i would recommend getting a rpi3/4 for testing or install ubuntu as dual boot. i am not sure if all USB devices will work properly over VM. maybe it will. linux  distros has come a long way in the last 5 years, let alone compared to 15 years ago or more.

    to me it makes little sense to dedicate a laptop/pc in the observator when it can be done with rpi remotely. and if you are set up in the backyard without a fixed observatory. it even less sense to me. wifi and ethernet is everywhere in our home, why not take advantage of IoT compliant devices . they have more power and stable compared to a what they were even 3 years ago.


  2. On 02/01/2022 at 11:28, Rafael said:

    Finally, after almost two months, I was able to test my StellaMira. In the last 2 nights I could collect almost 7.5h data.
    64x300sec with the Antlia ALP-T dualband filter and 40x180sec RGB data with UV/IR cut filter.
    Camera QHY294C Pro on CEM40


    lucy you, we still have clouds.

    I was testing Stellamira with StarField 0.8x flattener: https://www.firstlightoptics.com/starfield-telescopes/starfield-08x-adjustable-reducer-flattener-for-90102mm-refractors.html
    Stars are flat for the entire APS-C snesor and the back focus comes to about 59 mm. I could use my OAG, so the image circle is big enough for full frame but may been flats. TS sells the same device and lists it as having 42 mm image circle.

    i feel it is a very good flattener for it's proce and can be used with a multitude of scopes. very well priced vs TS@250+ euro pre vat

  3. also, if i am not mistaken, all ascom devices come with some form of driver from the manufacturer that sits between the planeterium and the device it self. so it really is inconsequential if one labels a device as ASCOM, as it requires a middleware to work.

    essentially, indiserver provides the same functionality as this middle ware, but can also do a lot more than just allow kstar to comminicate with device located in a remote part of your observatory and you dont need to have usb cables running all over the place. just something like a pi zero W to run indiserver over wifi and have it comepletely detached.


  4. 2 hours ago, malc-c said:

    Thanks for the advice, but this really clarifies the point I was making.  You have to have a computer of some sorts running linux to run the INDI Servre for the work around to function.  The fact you can download a version of Kstars written for windows and install it on a windows computer, but can't use its full potential to control a mount using ASCOM is so frustrating, especially for those not familiar with linux.  I'm sure if it was reversed, and the application was windows only, but got ported to Linux but without INDI support there would be the same concerns.  This for me suggests that making an application ASCOM compliant is far more complicated that we think ?

    Indiserver is written for distributed control systems. So that is by design. 

    Why do you think indi cannot handle ascom compplient devices? it can talk to ascom devices. i have written by own mount controller and i refused to uses ASCI so i had to re write part of indi-devcies to make it work with mine, because all it did was talk to ascom devices. also it is not true that ascom can give more control.
    Ascom is just a uart/serial device with a control charactor followed by some hex digits written an ascii. personally i dont like working with softwares that requres me to parse string. but hey, its what proposed and  made in 1990s using 1980s teck due to limitation on hardware and computational power. but things are a bit different now in 2022

    I feel like this os becoming a Linux vs Windows debate. But Everone  has their thing, but Windows is not the most stable platform to run a control platform with psudo real-time requirements.  it works better on Linux 

  5. 8 hours ago, malc-c said:

    I would assume porting an INDI driver to the ASCOM platform is quite complicated.  I raised this in a previous discussion regarding K Stars, which I think is one of the best planetarium application out there, siting between the glossy Stellarium app, and the now somewhat dated looking GUI of CdC.  But when it was ported to run on Windows there is no ASCOM support natively built in for telescope control.  I can only presume that the reasoning was it was too complicated to do so.  There may be workarounds to get windows K stars talking to EQMOD etc but often it seems like a lot of faffing around and I've never managed to get it to work reliably.   I don't know enough about Linux to make the jump in order to run the same work flow and applications I'm used to, so I have no choice but to continue with CdC.

    Where hardware is concerned  it would be nice if manufactures released drivers for all three platforms, windows, linux and mac OS... but  I guess they feel the latter two are in a minority so don't see the point in investing the time and effort to write / port drivers to these platforms.


    they way i do is have kstar runing on ubuntu/windows (i use ubuntu but i tested it on on windows as well, no difference and dont need the indiserver on windows which is what is not ported on windows yet) and run indiserver and phd2 on a rpi4. then get the kstar to connect to the indiserver /phd2remotely. indiserver has its own version of eqmod which works reliably for me. 

    RE: porting indi to ascom using python, it is possible. just wrap the indi calls with corresponding ASCOM and let the server run on rpi4. the open a virtual com port using serial to wifi driver and it should work fine. you ccannot do it for complex drivers, like for example eqmod, but for a focuser, it should be fairly straightforward


  6. 20 hours ago, BCN_Sean said:

    Looking at the hardware side of it, it may be quicker and easier to modify the firmware for the focuser itself to recognise as and accept commands as if it was a MoonLite clone than looking around to try and translate the drivers from one platform to another.

    I don't think that is true. Either way one needs to be able to map out the as om protocol. Question is where would you rather do it, in python which is easy to do for most with zero chance of breaking the firmware or in low level c code with possibility of breaking the device.. 

  7. 7 hours ago, dazzystar said:

    Hi All,

    I was watching a video about cameras for telescopes and the subject of back focus was brought up and how it needed to be 55mm from the CMOS chip on the camera. Not 54mm and not 56mm, exactly 55mm to achieve focus. I was then left pondering why on Earth you can't just use the focusing knob on the scope? What have I missed and can someone try and explain it please?



    assuming you are asking why 55 mm was chosen as a standard and not some other random number, it comes from the fact that the common DSLRs bodies have their sensor places somewhere in the range of 44-45 mm. add another 10 mm for the adaptor. so with 55mm it gives a very straightforward, almost standardized distance between the reducer and the dslr sensor, allowing someone new to enter into astrophotography without having to fiddle with spacers. hence it is 55 mm. just an ease of use, because if we were to use 45 mm as the standarized backfocus, most reducers wounld not work with DSLRs

  8. it is possible. you need to have a python server running that will accept ASCOM commands and execute the corresponding indi commands through indi server.

    indilib already supports python. so all you have to do is open a virtual serial com and listen to serial commands from ASCOM.

    i did something similar for indiEqmod. feel free to use it as a reference. i was written in cpp and talks to the low level drivers of my DIY mount, but the concept is the same


  9. Not really an experience of the cam itself, but I considered buying altair but decided to go with qhy because I found they are unable to provide basic info about their camera when asked. 

    For example, they were confused why I would need drivers that work on raspberry pi. 

    Also asked altair some question about their 115EDT, their answers were patchy and inconsistent. Almost like they don't know basic info of the products they are selling. 

    • Like 2
  10. It's quite easy to make it. It cost me 50 quid to make it, but it can be done much cheaper if you think you can find a cheaper camera. 

    Just follow the same steps to collamate your RC. I software I have written if free to use, and can be modified easily to add support for more camera.

    One can try to use a guide cam, as suggested, using a wide angle lense, but the problem with that is you can't change focus using the software. So you have do either do it without it and use a defocused image to guide yourself, or take the cam out and refocus manually everytime you need to check/go back and forth. 




  11. First light with 90mm F6 + TSFLAT2. needed 120 mm of backfocus. i think i need to try 110. 

    QHY268M, Baader Ha 3.5 nm. stack of 3 images with darks and bias only. not processed other than auto stretch.

    Was able to get OAG working without issue. prism places along the shorter edge (furtherest from the centre) just to check if there is enough light there. The bottom 10 % have reduced exposure so for full frame, one would need to use flats. i have a fullframe nikon, but no nikon adaptor so cannot check more scientifically. 



    • Like 3
  12. 8 minutes ago, johninderby said:

    I wonder if some that had been considering the Esprit 80 are now thinking about the StellaMira 90 after seeing these early results?


    I am seriously considering 90mm instead of esprit 100. Its sat on my FLO basket as I type :D

    Wondering if anyone tried it with starfield 0.8 Field flattener. Need the extra back focus. Ian at FLO suggests it will work, but wondering if anyone tried it and could comment of flatness of the field and also image circle. Because i dont think i be willing to sacrifice the flatness of the matched FF for extra back focus. Neither do I want to start taking flat frames

  13. 46 minutes ago, kbrown said:

    I didn't really bother doing much with the focusing. I just set it manually to where I thought I'd see enough. I used this mainly for centring and aligning the secondary mirror on my newt after taking it out. Really handy for that. Then I used a laser collimator and a chesire eyepiece to fine tune things. Iterated the whole process a few times and I got a very good collimation.

    I see. I guess that is the most tricky bit, however, If you are able to change the focus you should be able to do the whole collimation process without a laser. Like collamating with a Cheshire only. Saves you from ensuring correct collimation the laser collimator as well.


    I just used the laser to confirm that collimation worked. 

    • Like 1
  14. 9 minutes ago, rpineau said:

    @rsarwar , which Arducam are you using exactly (they have a few ;) ).

    Do you have a link ?




    This one: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YHJK4LN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    but i suppose you can also get the ones that are based MIPI, but that may require modifying the application.

    basically any camera that can have motorized focus would do and can be centred on the two inch would work.

    • Thanks 1
  15. 22 minutes ago, Chris said:

    Thank you! :) 

    Unscrewing the knurled M48 adapter on the camera side buys you an extra 5mm and reveals a 63mm male thread on the reducer/flattener.

    The TS version appears to come with an additional adapter on the telescope side, whereas the StellaMira ends with another male M63 thread for attaching directly to the StellaMira 90 EDT.

    I would like to do some full frame testing, I just need a full frame camera firstly.

    I may look on MPB.com to see how much their most affordable Full frame is, hmm? : )  






    Thanks chris. 5 mm is great as i got a wierd BF combo: QHY268 (12.5+1.8) -> M54 F (4 mm) -> M54 M to M54 M (2 mm) -> ZWO 2in EFW (20 mm) -> ZWO M68 (17.5) -> M68 F to M63 F (1 mm) = 59 mm. 

    Have you tried using a OAG with a APS-C sensor.  i think it should give you a good indication if the image circle is big enough to cover Full frame as well, because APSC diagonal + 8 mm prism would amount to 35 mm more or less? 

    I was about to place an order when i spotted that FLO has a ex-demo RC on promotion as well. no i am so confused as if i buy two scopes at once, i will no be allowed inside my bedroom :(

  16. 19 hours ago, Chris said:

    Another crack at the StellaMira data... The core was a bit blown out on the first rendition:






    Hi chris, great video. and great images.

    Looking at the flattener, it looks like it is a similar to the TS flattener that they put up with their 90mm f6. on one of the diagrams on the TS website, it is suggested that tthe M48 thread is actually on an extension which can be taken off. is that the same in the Stellemira flattener as well?  if yes, what is the thread on the camera side once the M48 extension is taken out and how much does it increase the backfocus. i kinda need the extra space. :S


    Also, would it be possible to maybe upload a white using a full frame dslr or something similar please. 


    Thanks :)

  17. 14 hours ago, kbrown said:

    Good job! I've done something similar with my QHY5L-II and a CS mount CCTV lens attached to it. I used oacapture to view the video feed. It has a few different style reticles you can overlay on top of the image but nothing like in your software. Curious if you're planning to add support for any commercial astro cameras?

    I could. Should not be difficult at all. However, how do you change focus on the Cs mounted lens? 

    I have a ASI290mm with the c mount lens it comes with, but the reason why I got the camera for arducam is because we need to be able to change focus. This would allow you to correctly focus properly on the edges of the second art mirror to ensure that it is within the circular overlay. And then swap focus on to the image on the secondary mirror to fine tune the secondary and align the primary mirror. 


    Ps: zwo publishes python drivers for their camera, so it will be straight forward indeed



  18. I am planning to get a 200 mm RC scope but i hate collimation process on my newtonian. i tried lasers and a cheshire. whilst i am able to get fairly okay collimation following testing with a LED torch under a Al foil with a pin hole, the process usually takes hours. and the results were never fully satisfactory . then i saw a Ocal Electronic Collimator on FLO and thought it should not be difficult to make it using a Arducam + some python/openCV coding. So I 3d  printed a 2 inch frame in which I screwed the camera. 

    first impression, need to  reprint the 2 inch frame in red, so that it is easier to see on the mirror. camera i chose is a bit expensive but works well.

    total cost was about 50 pounds for the camera. python codes and stl files are in https://github.com/rsarwar87/pyReflectorCollimator

    camera: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07YHJK4LN/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1







    • Like 5
  19. 17 hours ago, Adam J said:

    Pritty sure that as a rule the imaging circle is larger when you use a flattener than a reducer flattener?

    You are probably right. But I was testing the stellamira flattener on a 72ED and it did not allow me to use a OAG with a APSC camera. So the image circle was pretty narrow. Not entirely sure if that is because of the size of the apparture on the focuser or the flattener intake. 

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.